Podcast: Panhandle Charitable Open nets $170K for local charities

When John Peacock lost his 17-year old son to a car accident, he vowed to make something positive come out of the pain and loss of that tragedy.

That promise is being fulfilled in bigger and bigger ways each year at the Panhandle Charitable Open, which will donate $170,000 to local charities this year.

Now in its 14th year, the Panhandle Charitable Open started as an afternoon golf tournament but has grown to include two days of golf and a sold-out pre-tournament dinner. This year’s “Tee-Off Par-Tee” dinner featured America’s Got Talent finalist Oz Pearlman, who wowed the crowd with card tricks, eerily accurate mind-reading and mentalist demonstrations. Over 200 players competed in the sold out two-day golf tournament at Marcus Pointe Golf Club.

All told, over the course of the weekend, the Panhandle Charitable Open netted $170,000 after expenses, all of which will be donated to local charities over the next few weeks. Peacock, who is active in several civic organizations, attributes the success of the weekend to a generous community, a fun atmosphere and the support of a dedicated cadre of volunteers, including members of the Pensacola Young Professionals.

“We run this organization on an entirely volunteer basis – including a lot of assistance from the members of Pensacola Young Professionals. We donate every penny, after expenses, back to charities that benefit our local community,” said Peacock. “We try to make it a fun weekend – the dinner is casual, we have great entertainment, even the food and golf environment is laid back. So we try to make it a fun, relaxed time where people can enjoy themselves and at the same time contribute to some great causes.”

One of those great causes is the Council on Aging of West Florida, which the Open has supported in previous years.

John Clark, CEO of the Council on Aging, had this to say about the event:

“The Panhandle Charitable Open (PCO) has been a lifeline for Council on Aging of West Florida, raising over $154,000 since 2007 in support of the many unfunded and underfunded programs of the Council. Programs such as Meals on Wheels, adult day care, volunteer programs, senior dining sites and much more benefit from PCO,” said Clark.

“Because this support is local; we can also use it to match many of our state and federal grants, resulting in an additional one million dollars coming into our community in support of eldercare programs. John Peacock and the volunteers, donors and sponsors of the PCO, deserve the heartfelt thanks of this community. They put words into action and they are what makes this community such a great place to live, work and play,” Clark continued.

This year’s Panhandle Charitable Open recipients include:

Council On Aging Of West Florida
Child Guardians, Inc
Epilepsy Foundation
Children’S Home Society Of Florida
Gulf Coast Kids House
Arc Gateway
Pensacola Breast Cancer Society
Gulf Coast Kids House Board
Favor House Of Northwest Florida
Naval Sea Cadets (Pace)
Sacred Heart Foundation
Independence For The Blind
Autism Pensacola
Big Brothers Big Sisters Of Northwest Florida
First Tee Of Northwest Florida
Manna Food Bank
Southern Youth Sports Association
Covenant Hospice
Baptist Health Care Foundation
Good Works Partnership, Inc.
Santa Rosa Kids House

Learn more about the Panhandle Charitable Open at www.PCOGolf.org.